La Plata, MD – In July, a male defendant passed out in a Charles County Circuit Courtroom when a jury pronounced him guilty on five reckless endangerment charges. The defendant shot up his Oak Manor neighborhood in 2013 and was given a sentence of 26 years on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Judge H. James West sentenced Clyde Fitzgerald Jones, 27 of Waldorf, to four three-year consecutive sentences for reckless endangerment, two years on another, tacked on a year for illegally possessing a firearm and another year for illegally possessing ammunition.
The judge added another 10 years, subtracting 602 days for time served—for violating his probation when he was arrested on the reckless endangerment charges.
“This is not his first offense,” Charles County Assistant States Attorney Jeremy Widder told the court, citing a 2008 trespassing charge, and a 2012 case where he was charged with obstructing and hindering a police officer. He also pled guilty in the past to DUI, Widder said. He called Jones’ actions on the night of April 8, 2015, where he shot into several residences on Oak Manor, unacceptable. “This is behavior that should never happen,” Widder stated. “This is stuff you just cannot do.”
He said Jones was told to stay away from his girlfriend, Laura Barber and to stay away from alcohol. During the night of the shooting, Jones picked Barber up and went to a liquor store before having sex with her. These actions violated two of the conditions of his probation, Widder stated.
“The couple was involved in an abusive relationship,” he said, noting that Barber had accused Jones of punching her in the face, an allegation she later recanted.
“Shooting multiple times into a residence, these are the kinds of crimes that shake a community to its core,” Widder stated.
“Prior to his arrest, he was complying with probation,” Defense Attorney Justin Eisele said. Eisele explained his client was distraught over the death of his sister who was murdered in that same Oak Manor community, a murder that was never solved.
“This was a serious crime for the people in Oak Manor,” West said before putting the hammer down. “I have to respect what the jury decided. Ultimately, there are so many things going on in this case. It was a very serious case.”
West told the defendant when he was finished serving his time, he was done.
“There will be no probation,” the judge said.
Originally posted at The BayNet: http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/1116/defendantwhopassedoutissentenced.html.